Suryakumar century powers India to victory over Sri Lanka in T20 decider

Indian batsman smashes nine sixes in unbeaten 112

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Twenty20 sensation Suryakumar Yadav smashed a blazing century to help India extend their unbeaten streak of home series wins to 12 with a 91-run thrashing of Sri Lanka on Saturday.

The hosts rode on Suryakumar's unbeaten 112 off 51 deliveries to post 228-5 after electing to bat first in the series decider in Rajkot.

India then bowled out Sri Lanka for 137 in 16.4 overs for a 2-1 triumph and keep their win record in bi-lateral series on home turf which stretches back to February 2019.

Suryakumar, known as a 360-degree player for his ability to play all around the ground, stood out with his third T20 hundred - in 45 balls - as he stamped his class as the world's No 1 batsman in the format.

He smashed seven fours and nine sixes, including three off his trademark scoop shot over fine leg, to entertain the raucous home crowd.

India lost two wickets inside six overs after electing to bat first but Suryakumar and Shubman Gill, who hit 46 off 36 deliveries, put on 111 runs to lay the foundations for the total.

Left-arm quick Dilshan Madushanka struck in the opening over to send back the left-handed Ishan Kishan, caught at slip for one by Dhananjaya de Silva.

Rahul Tripathi, 31, who made his debut in the previous match, then hit back with Gill for company as he hit Maheesh Theekshana for three fours in the fifth over.

Tripathi smashed fast bowler Chamika Karunaratne for two successive sixes but got caught out in an attempt to get another boundary. He made 35 off 16 deliveries.

Suryakumar, who reached his fifty in 26 balls, then took charge with his all-round hitting.

Gill joined in the charge as he and Suryakumar smashed 23 runs in the 14th over from Theekshana.

But after three fours and two sixes in his 36-ball knock, Gill got bowled by leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga and two more wickets fell before Suryakumar kept up the momentum until the end.

In reply, Kusal Mendis started briskly but fell to Axar Patel's left-arm spin for 23 in the fifth over.

Wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals with skipper Hardik Pandya, fellow quick Umran Malik and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal taking two each.

Left-arm quick Arshdeep Singh took three including the final wicket.

Skipper Dasun Shanaka, who helped the tourists bounce back from their opening loss in the previous match, hit 23 off 17 balls before departing.

India's top stars, including regular captain Rohit Sharma and star batsman Virat Kohli, will return for the three one-day internationals between the two teams starting Tuesday.

Updated: January 07, 2023, 5:53 PM